Monday, July 30, 2012

16th Street the richest street in the world

Congratulations Gabbie ...
One of the pleasures of parenting is reading your children the young-adult classics that were too complicated for you and are, likewise, too complicated for them...

As we all suspect, thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world. One needs to go where people are serious about acting. The good thing about acting is that it always keeps you on your toes... It's not like any other job where you can go in and do the same thing as yesterday. It beats parliamentary library or committees or any Wickenby of bottom of the habours ... You always were curious about other bohemians That's the essence of your acting. Golden age of Acting- That is the way to feel and to be :-)

When, in September 1967, the BBC Home Service became BBC Radio 4, these are the words the continuity announcer spoke at closedown: 'This is the end of the Home Service for today and for all days. So goodbye Home Service - two of the best words in the British language. We're like a bride on the eve of her wedding, we go on being the same person, we hope, but we'll never again have the same name.'

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession. When strangers start acting like neighbors... communities are reinvigorated

Poetry Parnassus is a chance for culture to take its rightful place in the building of a community of world artists

Rule No. 9: Have adventures. The Hemingway mode was in ascendancy for decades before it was eclipsed by trendy fabulist “exercises.” The pendulum is swinging back, though, and it’s going to knock these effete eggheads right out of their Aeron chairs. Keep ahead of the curve. Get out and see the world. It’s not going to kill you to butch it up a tad. Book passage on a tramp steamer. Rustle up some dysentery; it’s worth it for the fever dreams alone. Lose a kidney in a knife fight. You’ll be glad you did.

One sometimes finds what one is not looking for...
Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.
I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
-Anne Frank

Saturday, July 28, 2012

There is a male equivalent to chick lit

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come”
Hugo,V 1877, Histoire d'un crime, Part 1

The life of my friend Dmitri Nabokov – a 6 foot 5, stentorian-voiced child of exile – could resemble a James Bond film... Fast cars, fast boats, fast women ; Luckily, there's a male equivalent to chick lit, and conveniently enough, it rhymes! The Top 20: Readers vote for the best in Russian fiction = Cold Spring River

The comparisons between nonfiction and Art don't hold up for me. A nonfiction can be obtained for a few dollars; a Michelangelo cannot be obtained even with millions ...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What makes something ‘cool’?

via Tash ( who points; shoots; sometimes she focusws first.) Photojournalist Greg Constantine takes us to the Burma-Bangladesh border, where tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees live in crowded, dirty camps. Between Burma and a Hard Place

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." — Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Which political parties do the Big 4 accountants support? It's a question that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has tackled in a great article here. The short form response

For what I did
And did not do
And do without
In my old age
Rue, not rage
Against that night

We go into,
Sets me straight
On what to do
Before I die—
Sit in the shade,
Look at the sky”

What makes something ‘cool’? A man of pleasure is a man of pains

Today’s world is focused on accountability and measurable results – business leaders, economists and politicians alike scramble for the latest data to inform where they invest time, effort and moneYy.

But what happens when things at the core of human existence can’t easily be measured? This is the problem facing creatives around the world – the arts are routinely underfunded leaving writers, artists and musicians among us on the back foot. The arts are how we express ourselves to one another and future generations. Each piece of writing, artwork and song is a reflection of what life is like at this very moment. Music is the most unique of these as it completely engages our imaginations and lets our emotions run wild

Lets our emotions run wild; When I was working for Mary Quant in the 1970s, cool was hot pants, shag carpets and waterbeds; now its food trucks, craft beer and pop-up stores. With every generation what’s cool get redefined, but do the characteristics of cool stay fundamentally the same throughout the years? What makes something ‘cool’? [ Thankfully we are not all “idiots” and most of us do have a moral responsibility to pay our taxes on time and full - The politics of point scoring H-INTEL provides a venue for the scholarly discussion of intelligence ; George Megalogenis has reviewed the last 30 years of Australian history through an idiosyncratic lens. History with a soft focus]

• · Failure in the theater is more dramatic and uglier than in any other form of writing. For W.B. Yeats, the spirit world was anything but false and foolish. “The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write W.B. Yeats, Magus; Demon Fish: Travels through the Hidden World of Sharks Don’t wear yum-yum yellow

• · · We would rather be ruined than changed
 We would rather die in our dread
 Than climb the cross of the moment
 And let our illusions die. How did the Aleppo Codex – the oldest text of the Hebrew Bible – end up in an iron case at Hebrew University? Why are 200 pages missing? A High Holy Whodunit; Walter Benjamin’s oeuvre: Ideas migrate among texts, letters morph into essays. Books are unstarted, unfinished, abandoned, aborted. For Future Friends of Walter

• · · · At Defcon, Hackers Show How to Hack Your Android Phone Encryption If you lose your Android phone, your data could find its way into the wrong hands, even if you have encryption turned on; We were buried in an e-book when the subway doors opened at the Bergen Street stop in Brooklyn. In a flash, a pair of hands dove into my date’s lap and ripped away her iPad. Chasing the guy was instinctive. But he had a crew backing him up that I never saw. Instead of winning back the iPad, I found myself lying on the platform bleeding, my jaw split in half. Fighting the iCrime Wave

• · · · · The Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Nick Warner, broke with decades of tradition last week to deliver a public address on the workings of the agency to mark its 60th anniversary. Mr Warner said it was the first time an ASIS DG had spoken on the role and nature of the organisation since it was established in 1952 LX - ASIS opens up; An alleged Canadian spy has compromised Australian intelligence information in an international espionage case that has sent shock waves through Western security agencies Canada spy case rocks ASIO

• · · · · · If you’re not sure what kind of chart would best showcase the data you’re presenting, Chart Chooser makes short work of narrowing it down. Chart chooser ; In this photostory, we cover the most popular and important OSINT tools for a security researcher. Nine OSINT tools every security researcher must have ; Make your own Angry Birds: Homebrew apps have arrived - By itself, the story of a cute, if flatulent, pig pushing a bunch of irate birds off the top spot is nothing unusual. What is odd is that the creator of “ePig Dash”, a conjuror and economics teacher, knew little or nothing about programming. Instead he used GameSalad, a do-it-yourself tool for app-makers Last year Eddie the pig took Chile by storm

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Birthday: Best Friends Listen to what you do not say

It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers. - Slavic Saying

Measuring out your life with friends is a blessing and in July is peppered with friends like Lydka, Steve and Kristof all celebrating their sweet birthdays 。。。

The truth about truth is complicated. After all, lying sometimes desirable. Indeed, small lies can reveal big truths. The Truth About Human Nature

"When I'm with you I feel like I could die and that would be alright, alright."

- Third Eye Blind Intersection of books and life

“Hope the voyage is a long one.

May there be many a summer morning when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you come into harbors seen for the first time”

Malchkeon closed her note with these words: “That's all for now. Thank you so much for keeping alive the flame of conversation.”

There is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry The Best Exotic Life: Solitude & Solidarity

I ndia is a Lovemark for many as it is teeming with the three secrets: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy. Yesterday I saw one of the great English movies - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A good old fashioned, upbeat story of optimism in a far distant exotic land...

"Books and friends should be few but good." "Life without a friend is like death without a witness." "May there always be work for your hands to do, may your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your windowpane, may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you, may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you." " A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."

"Let's make a resolution. I'll drink to that. Let's always stay friends. Friendship is thicker than blood...That depends...Depents on trust. Depends on true devotion. Depends on love. Depends on not denying emotion..." -Rent - Sent in by Cat.

Vain is the word of that philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man; Money is an abstraction. Whatever it looks like or whatever it’s backed by, what matters is that people believe in it A Brief History of Koruny [So only now does everything seem to be for sale? In medieval churches, aisle chapels were as likely to be named for bankers as for saints. When everything’s for sale ; Promoting democracy might seem like a good idea. It’s not. The world is riven by sectarian conflicts and allegiances. Will we ever learn from history? History Resumes: Sectarianism’s Unlearned Lessons]

• · The more angles and edges in your playbook, the more creativity will sing. As Steve Jobs said, creativity is just connecting things. Mantras; Facts turn out to be fetishes; fetishes turn out to be facts. The philosophical superstar Bruno Latour, post-midlife crisis, introduces the “factish”.. The cult of science

• · · Mickey Mouse and existentialism. Albert Camus was once a 20-something with a degree and no job in sight. Then he joined up with Walt Disney Robert Zaretsky on Albert Camus; Same as it ever was. Philosophy no longer speaks to the way we live. Or so its critics claim. But the discipline has always had its share of theoretical thickets Our Debt to the Greeks

• · · · Pretty much every cultural assumption about women’s breasts is wrong. But then, what men think about them doesn’t really matter. The historical vignettes are droll and judiciously ; Stanford University is “the germplasm for innovation,” the farm system for Silicon Valley. Who can argue with such success?... Get Rich

• · · · · The artist installs apps in Macs at an Apple store for a work called “People Staring at Computers.” Then the Secret Service rings his doorbell and assumes the role of critic When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide; Boycott threats, menacing graffiti, cyberattacks: Behold the radioactive celebrity of the Polish historian Jan T. Gross A Polish Historian's Accounting of the Holocaust Divides His Countrymen

• · · · · · The Right Honourable Edmund Burke was corpulent, petulant, and fond of lewd jokes. He was also eloquent, brilliant, and brave... who was Edmund Burke the man?; For Edvard Munch, art was an act of memory, a revisiting of images and ideas, a blurring of the line between original and copy. “I don’t paint what I see – but what I saw”. Edvard Munch: the ghosts of vampires and victims

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Drowning in Memories

Without risk there is no faith, and the greater the risk the greater the faith. -Kierkegaard, That Brother in arms of Orwell

Humanity demands that I stop for a minute … Today is exactly 32 years since I escaped from Czech and Slovak Socialist Republics to Austria. It is not every day one emerges alive when crossing the Iron Curtain. When is death not within ourselves?... Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and alseep, young and old. Sole survivors might often be thought of as anonymous, but we never want to be voiceless. You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you. It is wise to listen, not to me but to the Word, and to confess that all things are one. War and Peace of escapes.

Character is destiny. All is One Most Orwellian of Orwell’s successors

Any subject can reach a state of worship that threatens criticism and free thought. So noted Christopher Hitchens, that most Orwellian of Orwell’s successors.

He is often called Orwell’s heir because of his fervent love for the writer. In the end, Christopher Hitchens was the most important Orwellian thinker since Orwell. Christopher Hitchens, one sees that his persona is oddly like that of Oscar Wilde’s character Lord Henry Wotton from The Picture of Dorian Gray: loved by an assortment of people for assorted reasons, often when they cannot square with him on something else. Like Wotton, Hitchens was popular with individuals, not because they agreed with him, but because they disagreed with him. When faced with the cultivated erudition, wit, conviction, and eloquence such that “Hitch” displayed, peacocking before a podium or a writer’s desk, one couldn’t help but fall like those in Dorian Gray who despised the hedonist Wotton, and yet couldn’t stay away from his conversation. It’s hard to say where Hitchens’ greatest popularity lies, but much Hitch-love comes from his status as the successor to George Orwell. Orwell’s manner, if anything, was the opposite of Hitchens’ strut. But the two are compared because they both criticized the Left from within on matters of international policy, albeit in independent ways. Hitchens broke from the Left over the so-called war on terror, quitting his literary homestead, The Nation, and making particularly derisive comments about his comrades. These actions were viewed as the strongest individual leftist dissent by a writer since Orwell’s infamous break over the Spanish Communists and the Soviet Union. To boot, Hitchens offered strong, vocal admiration for the elder English author and polemicist, and invoked Orwell on matters of principle and ethics regarding his own conservative turn. Indeed, the two are similarly noteworthy for their incorporation of morals into their politics.

For a lot of people, their first love is what they’ll always remember. For me it’s always been the first hate, and I think that hatred, though it provides often rather junky energy, is a terrific way of getting you out of bed in the morning and keeping you going. If you don’t let it get out of hand, it can be canalized into writing. In this country where people love to be nonjudgmental … there are an awful lot of bubble reputations floating around that one wouldn’t be doing one’s job if one didn’t itch to prick…

• - The road up and the road down is one and the same. Yet Everything flows, nothing stands still. Orwell Knew How To Move Rivers and Mountains and most of all Men ; There Is an ‘I’ In Team [We all have our personality quirks that either endear us to others, or drive them to distraction, often simultaneously. But when does a quirk become a liability in the workplace? And how can you minimise the fallout? Managing extreme personalities ; If all men are monsters, how should we raise our boys? The world of book-learning is especially critical of men. When I asked about books on men in one Sydney bookshop the reply was - Oh God, I don't know Try under mental illness or self-help ]

• · Popular legend has it that actors are vain creatures. Some are, some aren't. Authors, though, poor lonely people, are nine tenths vanity; they live their whole lives believing without question all the good things that have ever been written about them - Alan Ayckbourn, The Crafty Art of Playmaking ; An 8-year-old's conflict management toolbox proves that managing conflict is not as sophisticated as you might think. Conflict management: lessons from the second grade

• · · Think local: Google explains how businesses can get a piece of Australia's $189 billion online market Figures published yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show online business in Australia is up 32% on last year with Australian businesses receiving online orders worth $189 billion 8166.0 - Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2010-11 ; One cannot review a bad book without showing off -Something even more insidious is beginning to occur, as this week's Essential Report suggests. Loss of trust is contagious. We're not just cynical about politicians; we are also losing faith in the institutions that underpin public life Loss of trust spreading beyond Parliament

• · · · Comedy is an essential part of any play. Without light how can we possibly create shadow? It's like a painter rejecting yellow. - Frustrations happen when expectations go unmet, but by changing your perspective, you can transform frustrations into solutions. Here are three ways to fill a glass half empty... Fill a Glass Half Empty; Somewhere in the world, a desperate user cries out for a UX hero. In the city, a lost tourist is looking for his hotel using a poorly designed app. In a nearby apartment, another man abandons his cart before making his first online purchase. Down the hall, his daughter struggles to complete a research paper using disorganized and unusable websites. An epidemic of unproductive web experiences is sweeping the city leaving a trail of disappointment and desperation in its wake. The world needs a hero. It’s time for each of us to rise up and say “I am that hero!”

• · · · · The Brothers Grimm, 18th-century terrorists, savored violence in their art. Toes are chopped off, severed fingers fly through the air. The fairy tales validate our own fears... Fairy of Fears ; The totalitarian virus did not enter the Soviet state with Stalin. It was there when Lenin and Trotsky were still in charge... A Bolshevik’s memoirs

• · · · · · We don’t feel the force of the uncertainties felt by our predecessors The Olympics and Beyond; After many years of debate and resistance the Canadian legal profession is finally accepting that compulsory professional development is a necessity And the Learners Shall Inherit the Earth

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fatefull day in 1776 - The Birth of Terra of Down Under

Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow are shaping as those rare days that tend to be filled with speeches on all kinds of topics ... How Delaware Thrives as a Corporate Tax Haven

The 4th of July 2012 marks 236 years since that fatefull day in 1776 when independence from Great Britain was declared and the United States was born. It is the single most important holiday celebration in America, and rightfully so.

'I have come not to talk but to die.

These words were uttered on Friday, December 7, 1683, by Algernon Sidney, just before his head was chopped off in a public execution in London. Sidney had made the mistake of questioning the divine right of kings. Charles II took it personally ; It is usually ignored in Australia that the setting up of a British colony in NSW was not the result of some grand plan but more a historical afterthought. Britain had been sending convicts to America until the revolution closed off this option. As convicts numbers began to overflow in prison hulks, the government looked to colonies in West Africa as its choice for transportation. Australia was not considered because from London it was a void, empty of any settlement, and on the other side of the world.

In 1784, as home secretary, Lord Sydney had responsibility in cabinet for choosing the new destination for transportation. He chose Botany Bay. He was the first minister to do so. On his recommendation, the government nominated NSW as the site for convict transportation, and Lord Sydney instructed the Treasury to finance a fleet. On January 22, 1788, the first governor of the colony, Arthur Phillip, found a safer mooring for his fleet than Botany Bay. He named it Sydney Cove. He did so in honour of the home secretary who, after setting the destination, had sponsored the expedition. (The news of this small honour would not reach Lord Sydney for 14 months.)

Lord Sydney had earlier also made his mark on Canada's largest city. In 1781-82, he was responsible for the peace negotiations with the Americans after the American revolution. He was able to keep southern Ontario, including what is now Toronto, as part of Canada. His eventual biographer, Andrew Tink, was a long-time member of Parliament, 19 years. He had also been a long-time member of the opposition, 12 years, just as Tommy Townshend had spent the bulk of his parliamentary career in opposition or out of favour with the king for his republican leanings and sympathy for the Americans. ''I felt empathy for him,'' Tink told me. ''He kept turning up. He kept batting on.'' Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend - It’s been said that a biographer is a novelist under oath -- Tink and Throsby

'Fifty Shades' by the numbers, patriotic books for July 4th ; The American Revolution was, in many regards, a British civil war. In 18th century Britain, Parliamentary government was supposed to protect freeborn men from the threat of absolutist monarchy and excessive taxation. However, the British refused to extend Parliamentary representation to the American colonies, creating the unethical paradox of a democratic empire. Edmund Burke, the great grand-daddy of British conservatism, had every sympathy for the American revolt against crippling taxes and restrictions on their right to steal Indian land. In his view “our English brethren in the colonies” were fighting to uphold ancient Anglo-Saxon rights in the face of brutish imperialism by a German-descended king, enforced by “the hireling sword of German boors and vassals”. When the Americans rebelled in 1775, there were plenty of Brits who supported them. The Fourth of July provides an uncomfortable reminder of our once radical heritage - The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Date with Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries has Date with Jozef and Peter ...

Barry feels comfortable on stage as the first words he utters to a full audience are ''alone at last''. He was alone with us on Tuesday at lunchtime at Barbara Nichol's Sydney store, Pen-Ultimate situated at the Queen Victoria Building – opposite the best place for unique and affodable pressies NY Metropolitan Museum. Like my father in law, Humphries, 77, holds the titles Officer of the Order of Australia and this year he even became an Australian of the year. Barry’s reputation for being cantankerous and, at times, acerbic was sealed when I told Peter that we chose a special pen Caran D’ache as a present for my father in law as that pen lasts for many generations - Barbara who is the best teacher of calligraphy insists that the pen tends to outlive even the grandchildren . Barry in his typical fashion hissed ‘ bugger the grandchildren ;-)’ London was kind to Barry as when he first came to the royal city … he had to work the night shift in an ice-cream factory making raspberry ripple inside a cold river.

Dame Edna is set to hang up her gladioli, but first, a few more laughs. After 56 years on stage and screen, satirist, comedian, Dadaist and National Living Treasure Barry Humphries is waving farewell. Does anyone really believe Barry Humphries that this is his "farewell tour"? Nellie Melba's farewells stretched over four years. Surely Edna would want to trump that. Dame Edna's vivid long goodbye ach and Eat pray and laugh …

Top Five Reasons Not to Write a Nasty Obit Compressing the uncompressible - De mortuis nil nisi bonum

So the next time you hear a good story about why the financial recession, or any other economically significant event, was caused by a single collection of bad actors — or how a simple linear narrative “explains” an important event — remember this: Just as we are wired to like a diet rich in fats and sugars, we have an appetite for simple, coherent narratives. Neither habit is good for our long-term health.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum. The idea is so old its classic expression is in Latin: Speak no ill of the dead. After Andrew Breitbart's sudden death at the shockingly young age of 43 has provoked a chorus of nasty tweets and blog posts from the left, a lot of folks are rethinking this ancient aphorism. I've never been quite sure what to think of the practice. H. L. Mencken, one of my heroes, wrote an obit of William Jennings Bryan that was so brilliantly vicious that, according to legend, a colleague thought HLM didn't realize that Bryan was dead (I guess he missed the memorable first sentence of the piece). I could be accused of having committed a similar sort of offense when Ted Kennedy died (though in my defense I was really objecting to the way the whole country was going way too far in the other direction - adulation for a "lion" who was obviously a seriously flawed person). (See also this.)

Top Five Reasons Not to Write a Nasty Obit ; Lester [The Australian online retailer has introduced the world's first "tax" on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser. Customers who use IE7 will have to pay an extra surcharge on online purchases made through the firm's site. Chief executive Ruslan Kogan told the BBC he wanted to recoup the time and costs involved in "rendering the website into a antique browser" World's first 'tax' on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7; Mr Kundra, the executive vice president of emerging markets at CRM vendor told an audience, governments all over the world were in a post cloud future. What he meant by that was “looking back at what happened in the 90s” when everyone was having raging debates be it the public or private sectors on the topic of email Govt data sovereignty is myth, says ex-US CIO ]

• · There is something spiritual about walking with our ancestors. If we have anything in common with these people who lived before us, we want to locate it because this is the essence of our own identities Searching for Australian identity; Our Gift for Good Stories Blinds Us to the Truth – Bloomberg I don’t care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren’t people. People are people ; Three out of ten Australians experienced loneliness between 2001 and 2009, and Facebook and social media weren't a cure. All the lonely people

• · · Recyled tires added to pavement around the world for noise abatement The Economist: Around one heart attack in 50 in rich European countries is caused by chronic exposure to loud traffic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The ill-effects of noise pollution in such countries are second only to those from dirty air. ; Reference: These results indicate that at least one million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic related noise in the western part of Europe. Burden of disease from environmental noise - Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe; Whatever made you homeless in the first place, once you are there it is like being stuck in quicksand. Cold concrete is cold comfort

• · · · Darrell Morris took leave from DFAT to work for a Liberal Party frontbencher. Since returning life has taken a turn for the worse. Bullies ; Judges shouldn’t play politics. For one thing, they’re bad at it, as this instance illustrates. The decision was apparently more political than legal

• · · · · The future of finance, and in particular saving it from a popular backlash against the global financial crisis and related crisis-management policies, has rightly become a matter of great concern. There is broad agreement that finance has, as in the past, the potential to do good, which should be harnessed by all. However, it is essential to minimise its potential to do harm. Society, economic policies and the financial sector ; Graphene once again proves that it is quite possibly the most miraculous material known to man, this time by making saltwater drinkable. The process was developed by a group of MIT researchers who realized that graphene allowed for the creation of an incredibly precise sieve. Basically, the regular atomic structure of graphene means that you can create holes of any size, for example the size of a single molecule of water. Using this process scientist can desalinate saltwater 1,000 times faster than the Reverse Osmosis technique Making Saltwater Drinkable With Graphene.

• · · · · · For the past two decades New Yorkers have been the beneficiaries of the largest and longest sustained drop in street crime ever experienced by a big city in the developed world. In less than a generation, rates of several common crimes that inspire public fear — homicide, robbery and burglary — dropped by more than 80 percent. Scientific American - How New York Beat Crime ; Burglary reports dropped after officers began taking patrol orders from computers. L.A. Cops Embrace Crime-Predicting Algorithm

Sales – The more expensive something is, the less logic people use to decide if they are going to buy it. People will buy a 50k car because it’s red, and scrutinize the calories in a $1.50 snack...

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Havel - the satisfying clang of truth

The moment a man can really do his work he becomes speechless about it. All words become idle to him, all theories.
-John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies

Exhibition reveals the man behind the politician I do not hesitate to say that Václav Havel was the most photographed personality of our agency in history. We want to remember the vibrant, vigorous, cheerful man, as ČTK photographers knew from their work. Although the exhibition is composed of photographs of more than two dozen authors, it speaks of one thing: that Václav Havel was an exceptional person. States don't fail overnight. The seeds of of their destruction are sown deep within their political institutions. Havel in photography - the satisfying clang of truth; Boycott threats, menacing graffiti, cyberattacks: Behold the radioactive celebrity of the Polish historian Jan T. Gross

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

A complex escape with a complex history Quite Contrary

More than 12 million civilians were expelled from their birthplaces; at least 500,000 died: This is the European atrocity you never heard about...
I sit in one of the dives
On Macquarie Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade or three ...

The purpose of bohemian poetry is to make the future more tolerable… Past is just a foreign aboriginal country …

During the Second World War, tragic scenes like those were commonplace, as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin moved around entire populations like pieces on a chessboard, seeking to reshape the demographic profile of Europe according to their own preferences. What was different about the deportation of Loch and his fellow passengers, however, was that it took place by order of the United States and Britain as well as the Soviet Union, nearly two years after the declaration of peace. In the largest episode of forced migration in history, millions of German-speaking civilians were sent to Germany from Czechoslovakia (above) and other European countries after World War II by order of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. The screams that rang throughout the darkened cattle car crammed with deportees, as it jolted across the icy Polish countryside five nights before Christmas, were Dr. Loch's only means of locating his patient. The doctor, formerly chief medical officer of a large urban hospital, now found himself clambering over piles of baggage, fellow passengers, and buckets used as toilets, only to find his path blocked by an old woman who ignored his request to move aside. On closer examination, he discovered that she had frozen to death. Finally he located the source of the screams, a pregnant woman who had gone into premature labor and was hemorrhaging profusely. When he attempted to move her from where she lay into a more comfortable position, he found that "she was frozen to the floor with her own blood." Other than temporarily stanching the bleeding, Loch was unable to do anything to help her, and he never learned whether she had lived or died. When the train made its first stop, after more than four days in transit, 16 frost-covered corpses were pulled from the wagons before the remaining deportees were put back on board to continue their journey. A further 42 passengers would later succumb to the effects of their ordeal, among them Loch's wife.

The European Atrocity You Never Heard About; Atrocity [When countries fail. Collapse is marked by a whimper more often than a bang. An economy built on exploitation cannot long stand 10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart ; Voltaire teaches that even when you disagree with what a speaker has said, you must defend to the death his right to say it … Slavoj Žižek can’t fathom why people ask him for advice. “Look at me!” he shouts. “Look at my tics! Don’t you see that I’m mad?” 'Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots' ; Philosophy of love. Why is a lefty like Alain Badiou preaching monogamy? “If you limit yourself to sexual pleasure it’s narcissistic”... Joy of love ]

• · What is the lesson of culture? That it is a precious but precarious inheritance, more difficult to achieve than destroy. And once destroyed, it’s irretrievable.. Future tense, XI: The lessons of culture; Faith in markets remains high. Why? They spare us from the unpleasant work of thinking and arguing about the meaning of goods. We need to reason about how to value our bodies, human dignity, teaching and learning

• · · Envy means wanting and not getting. But artistic envy? That’s another thing entirely. Nothing reveals a writer’s flawed character more than his jealousy of a peer’s success... Can a literary interview be a weapon? What if the magazine in which it appears – The Paris Review – is part of a CIA-financed campaign of psychological warfare?. Letters discovered by Salon show even deeper Cold War ties between the Paris Review and a U.S. propaganda front ; Amazon’s world. The book industry’s woes are largely self-inflicted. “This is a business run by English majors, not business majors”. The Amazon Effect

• · · · Mary McCarthy might have been a viperish, bipolar nymphomaniac. Who cares? Pay attention to what matters most: her writing... Quite Contrary ; What will survive of us is love.” Oprah? The Beatles? Hallmark? No, Philip Larkin. As soon as he wrote it, he had second thoughts... Does Love Survive Loss?

• · · · · For lonely people in a lonely age. Psychoanalysts were once imbued with intellectual authority, dabbling in religion and philosophy. Now therapists are more like artificial friends.. Psychotherapy – and - the – pursuit – of -happines ; The tyranny of the clock. Our ever more intimately clocked world is increasingly efficient. The problem: We are forever on the edge of being late

• · · · · · A complex drink with a complex history The perfect shot. Grind, temperature, pressure: Good espresso is good chemistry. It’s also good art. Done well, it’s pure sensory pleasure... The Long History of the Espresso Machine ; For Edvard Munch, art was an act of memory, a revisiting of images and ideas, a blurring of the line between original and copy. “I don’t paint what I see – but what I saw” Edvard Munch: the ghosts of vampires and victims ; The Barthesian moment. These days everyone fancies themselves a culture critic.. The blogosphere is a Petri dish of amateur semiology